Kentucky guard Cason Wallace (22) attempts a layup as Mississippi State forward Tolu Smith (1) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

No. 23 Kentucky Hosts Vanderbilt

The Kentucky Wildcats (20-9) host the Vanderbilt Commodores (16-13) Wednesday in the Wildcats’ last home game of the regular season. Kentucky is on a four-game win streak and are making a push for a Top 5 seed in the NCAA tournament. Vanderbilt is coming off of a win over Florida and holds a solid position in the SEC standings. Tipoff for the matchup is slated for 7 p.m.

Senior Night for Kentucky

Kentucky will hold its senior night approximately 30 minutes before tipoff. They will be honoring six total seniors including the reigning National Player of the Year, Oscar Tshiebwe. Tshiebwe is a major part of the Wildcats’ recent success. He’s averaging 16.4 points and 12.8 rebounds per game and his dominance on both sides of the ball have put the Wildcats back on the map after a rocky start to the season.

Kentucky has four players averaging double figures. They currently sit in third in the SEC and will look to defend home court against the Commodores who lost only one game in February.

Vanderbilt Flipping the Script?

Vanderbilt began the season with some brutal losses. It seemed as if they would have a .5oo season at best with tough SEC play on its horizon. However, the Commodores came into February and changed everything. They went 6-1 during the month, including notable victories over Tennessee and Auburn. The Commodores now sit in a spot to compete for an SEC title.

Forward Liam Roberts is leading the team with 15.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Roberts notably recorded 32 points and 10 rebounds against Florida, earlier this season. He’s been huge in Vanderbilt’s efforts to rise up the conference rankings. Roberts will be key on defense when clashing with Tshiebwe in the paint.

The Commodores will have to play some of its best basketball, Wednesday. It will be a hostile crowd for senior night in Lexington and Kentucky is one of the hottest teams in the nation.

NCAA Projections for Both Squads

Joe Lunardi currently has Kentucky as a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament. Barring an SEC Championship win, they are projected to hover around the middle seeds.

Vanderbilt is not currently a team that is in consideration for a tournament spot. Its only real chance of making it is if they complete a miraculous run in the SEC tournament, giving them an auto-bid for March.

About Daniel Haviv

Hello, my name is Daniel Haviv and I'm a junior sports journalism student at the University of Florida. As a sports writer, I have published content on a multitude of different sports across all levels. Additionally, I was a beat reporter for the Gators Men's Basketball team for the 2022-2023 season. Game-day previews and post-game articles are featured.

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